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Calhoun County, Illinois

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Source: archive.com
"History of Calhoun County and its people up to the year 1910"
by: Carpenter, George Wilbur

Early Batchtown in Calhoun County, IL

The village of Batchtown had several names before the present one was adopted.

The village together with the surrounding farms was known as "Kichwoods" in the fifties. Later, the people speaking of the place frequently called it "Sam White's", after the leading merchant of the county.

Later it was called "Batchelderville", probably in honor of William Batchelder, who was living in the village in the sixties. He bad been a Justice of the Peace, a merchant, and an owner and operator of a corn mill, which was later changed to a flour mill.

In 1879 a post-office was established and the official name became Batchtown.

We cannot discuss the early history of Batchtown without men- tioning the name of Samuel White.

Mr. White, a native of Missouri, came to Calhoun in 1851. He attended the district school at Batch- town, McKendree College, and a business college. When he was 21 (in 1866) he sold the property that he had inherited from his father and invested the $2,500 for goods for a store which he started at Gilead.

In 1868 he moved to Batchtown. Here he erected a two-story building, 45 feet across the front and 75 feet deep. He filled it with a complete stock of groceries, dry goods, shoes, and hardware. He was also a dealer in farm machinery.

Mr. White erected a flour mill in Batchtown and the farmers from the entire southern and central part of the county brought grain to this mill. This mill was remodeled in 1878 and 1890. His store was the largest and best known in the county in the period of 1870i to 1890.

Another merchant who was doing business in Batchtown, but before the time of Sam White, was Thomas J. Douglas.

The Lowe family came to Batchtown in 1866. John Lowe was School Treasurer for fourteen years and his son, Austin, has succeed- ed him and served for many years. Austin also served as Justice of the Peace for many years.

Among the other early settlers in the Batchtown neighborhood were Robert C. Beaty, who came in the 1840's or early 1850's.

David Davis Cockrell, who came in the early 1860's.

Dr. James D. Douglas, who came to Richwoods about 1855 and practiced medicine.

Justus Franke, who sailed from Germany in 1866 and came to Calhoun two years later in 1868.

William H. Smith, who came in 1843.

A. C. Wilson, who settled in the county in 1849. Mr. Wilson formerly owned the land upon which Batchtown is now built.

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